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Frederick Douglass Quotes

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Frederick Douglass Quote: “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”

Without a struggle, there can be no progress.

— Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass Quote: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”

Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.”

Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”

You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.”

A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

— Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass Quote: “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”

I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery.”

The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “I had as well be killed running as die standing.”

I had as well be killed running as die standing.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.”

The soul that is within me no man can degrade.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “The opposite of compromise is character.”

The opposite of compromise is character.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “What to the Slave is the 4th of July.”

What to the Slave is the 4th of July.

— Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass Quote: “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.”

People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “In the struggle for justice, the only reward is the opportunity to be in the struggle. You can’t expect that you’re going to have it tomorrow. You just have to keep working on it.”

In the struggle for justice, the only reward is the opportunity to be in the struggle. You can’t expect that you’re going to have it tomorrow. You just have to keep working on it.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.”

A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “A slave is someone who sits down, and waits for someone to free them.”

A slave is someone who sits down, and waits for someone to free them.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “One and God make a majority.”

One and God make a majority.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Right is of no Sex-Truth is of no Color-God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”

Right is of no Sex-Truth is of no Color-God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world.”

When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “No man can be truly free whose liberty is dependent upon the thought, feeling and action of others, and who has himself no means in his own hands for guarding, protecting, defending and maintaining that liberty.”

No man can be truly free whose liberty is dependent upon the thought, feeling and action of others, and who has himself no means in his own hands for guarding, protecting, defending and maintaining that liberty.

— Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass Quote: “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.”

You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “What is possible for me is possible for you.”

What is possible for me is possible for you.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.”

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Our destiny is largely in our hands.”

Our destiny is largely in our hands.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Some know the value of education by having it. I know it’s value by not having it.”

Some know the value of education by having it. I know it’s value by not having it.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.”

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity.”

I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.”

We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.”

When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.

— Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass Quote: “Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.”

Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”

The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “Liberty for all; chains for none.”

Liberty for all; chains for none.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “You degrade us and then ask why we are degraded. You shut our mouths and ask why we don’t speak. You close your colleges and seminaries against us and then ask why we don’t know.”

You degrade us and then ask why we are degraded. You shut our mouths and ask why we don’t speak. You close your colleges and seminaries against us and then ask why we don’t know.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “There is a class of people who seem to think that if a man should fall overboard into the sea with a Bible in his pocket it would hardly be possible to drown. I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

There is a class of people who seem to think that if a man should fall overboard into the sea with a Bible in his pocket it would hardly be possible to drown. I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: A day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustices and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham.”

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: A day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustices and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “A man without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, although it can pity him.”

A man without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, although it can pity him.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.”

A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “In life you don’t get everything you pay for, but you must pay for everything you get.”

In life you don’t get everything you pay for, but you must pay for everything you get.

— Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass Quote: “There is no negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution.”

There is no negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution.

— Frederick Douglass


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